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Laer. I pray you, give me leave.
Laer. I thank you; keep the door.
O thou vile King, give me my father.
Queen. Calmly, good Laertes.
Laer. That drop of blood that's calm, proclaims me baftard;
Cries cuckold to my father; brands the harlot
King. What is the caufe, Laertes,
That thy Rebellion looks fo giant-like?
Why are you thus incens'd? Let him go, Gertrude.
Laer. Where is my father?
Queen. But not by him.
King. Let him demand his fill.
Laer. How came he dead? I'll not be juggled with : To hell, allegiance! vows, to the blackeft devil! Confcience and grace, to the profoundest pit! I dare damnation; to this point I ftand, That both the worlds I give to negligence, Let come, what comes; only I'll be reveng'd Moft throughly for my father.
King. Who fhall stay you?
Laer. My will, not all the world;
And for my means, I'll husband them so well,
King Good Laertes,
If you defire to know the certainty
Of your dear father, is't writ in your revenge, (That fweep-ftake) you will draw both friend and foe, Winner and lofer ?
Laer. None but his enemies.
King. Will you know them then?
Laer. To his good friends thus wide I'll ope my arms,
Like a good child, and a true gentleman.
Laer. How now, what noife is that?
Enter Ophelia, fantastically dreft with ftraws and flowers.
O heat, dry up my brains! tears, feven times falt,
By heav'n, thy madnefs fhall be paid with weight,
O heav'ns, is't poffible a young maid's wits
Oph. They bore him bare-fac'd on the bier,
Laer. Hadft thou thy wits, and didft perfuade revenge, It could not move thus.
Oph. You must fing, down a-down, and you call him a-down-a. O how the wheel becomes it! it is the falfe fteward that ftole his mafter's daughter.
Laer. This nothing's more than matter.
Oph. There's rofemary, that's for remembrance; pray, love, remember; and there's panfies, that's for thoughts. Laer. A document.in madness, thoughts and remembrance fitted.
Opb. There's fennel for you, and columbines; there's rue for you, and here's fome for me. We may call it herb of grace o' Sundays: you may wear your rue with a difference. There's a daify; I would give you fome violets, but they withered all when my father dy'd: they say, he made a good end;
For bonny fweet Robin is all my joy.
Laer. Thought, and Affliction, paffion, hell itself, She turns to favour, and to prettiness.
Oph. And will be not come again?
And will be not come again?
No, no, he is dead, go to thy death-bed,
He never will come again.
His beard was as white as fnow,
All flaxen was his pole :
He is gone, he is gone,
and we caft away mone,
And of all chriftian fouls! God b'w'ye. [Exit Ophelia, Laer. Do you fee this, you Gods!
King. Laertes, I muft commune with your grief,
Make choice of whom your wifeft friends you will,
They find us touch'd, we will our Kingdom give,
Be you content to lend your patience to us;
Laer. Let this be fo.
His means of death, his obfcure funeral,
No trophy, fword, nor hatchment o'er his bones,
Cry to be heard, as 'twere from heav'n to earth,
King. So you fhall :
And where th' offence is, let the great ax fall.
Enter Horatio, with an attendant.
Hor. What are they, that would speak with me?
I do not know from what part of the world
I should be greeted, if not from Lord Hamlet. 9
Sail. God blefs you, Sir.
Hor. Let him bless thee too.
Sail. He fhall, Sir, an't please him.-There's a letter for you, Sir: It comes from th' ambaffador that was bound for England, if your name be Horatio, as I am let to know it is.
Horatio reads the letter.
"Oratio, when thou shalt have overlook'd this, give thefe fellows fome means to the King: they have letters for him. Ere we were two days ald at fea, a pirate of very warlike appointment gave us chace. Finding ourJelves too flow of fail, we put on a compelled valour, and in the grapple I boarded them: on the inftant they got clear of our fhip, fo I alone became their prisoner. They have dealt with me, like thieves of mercy; but they know what they did: I am to do a good turn for them. Let the King have the letters I have fent, and repair thou to me with as much hafte as thou wouldeft fly death. I have words to Speak in thy ear, will make thee dumb; yet are they much too light for the matter. Thefe good fellows will bring thee where I Rofincrantz and Guildenstern hold their courfe for England. Of them I have much to tell thee, farewel He that thou knowest thine, Hamlet. Come,
Come, I will make you way for these your letters;
Enter King, and Laertes.
King. Now muft your confcience my acquittance feal,
Laer. It well appears. But tell me,
King. Two fpecial reasons,
Which may to you, perhaps, feem much unfinew'd,
And yet to me are ftrong.
The Queen, his mother,
Lives almost by his looks; and for myfelf,
(My virtue or my plague, be't either which,)
Would have reverted to my bow again,
Laer. And fo have I a nobler father loft,
Whofe worth, if praifes may go back again,
For her perfections-But my revenge will come.
King. Break not your fleeps for that; you must not think,
That we are made of ftuff fo flat and dull,
That we can let our beard be shook with danger,